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French Provenance in the Personal Library of the Art Critic and Theorist Karel Teige in the National Museum Library

Abstract

The National Museum Library contains the personal library of an outstanding Czech critic and modern art theorist, Karel Teige. From the 1920s, he was in touch with the founders and important representatives of modern art movements, mostly from France, whose relations and cooperation are i.a. demonstrated by the books donated to him. The article presents several dedications by André Breton, Tristan Tzara, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Le Corbusier and Salvador Dalí.

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Frič’s Fat and Lean Years in Paris

Abstract

The article focuses on the elucidation of the broader context of the cultural, social and political activities of Josef Václav Frič during his emigration to Paris. It outlines the circumstances of his efforts to promote the Czech issue in Europe and popularise it among the wider public. It thus draws attention to Frič’s key platforms of sociability and communication: the possibilities of contemporary periodicals and the first association of compatriots in France, Českomoravská beseda (Czech–Moravian Beseda). The accompanying visual material includes representative examples of extant archival materials from Frič’s legacy and from the collection of his personal library.

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Hanuš Jelínek - František Gellner’s Translator: Coquetry and Ironic Mask

Abstract

Although Hanuš Jelínek gives a rather marginal place to the poet František Gellner both in his History and in his Anthology of Czech Literature, he tends to express particular sympathy for him, sharing with him the Bohemianism of the student years in Paris. A close study of his few translations of Gellner’s poems into French reveals his romantic and cosmopolitan interpretation of the work, contributing to a definition of Jelínek’s own stylistic choices.

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Hanuš Jelínek’s Beginnings in Mercure de France

Abstract

The aim of this article is to describe the beginnings of the cooperation between Hanuš Jelínek and the journal and publishing house Mercure de France. In March 1900, Jelínek published, under the pseudonym Jean Otokar, his first study ‘La Poésie moderne tchèque’ in the Parisian journal. For some time, the critic then wrote the column ‘Lettres tchèques’ (August 1900 – February 1903) in Mercure – after Alexandr Bačkovský (alias Jean Rowalski) and before William Ritter. The early origin of the ‘Lettres tchèques’ of Bačkovský and Jelínek as a result of the aesthetic affinity between literary and artistic modernism on the one hand and some French and Francophone circles of the time on the other has the merit of introducing the readers of an important French periodical to Czech production. These columns have their firm place in the history of Czech efforts to gain recognition in France and the French-speaking world.

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Melancholy, Hanuš Jelínek and Miloš Marten

Abstract

The aim of this article is to present the roles of Miloš Marten (1883–1917) in the Czech–French cultural events of the first decade of the 20th century in the background of his contacts with Hanuš Jelínek (1878–1944). The first part of the article deals with Marten’s artistic and life experience during his stays in Paris (1907–1908). The consequences of those two stays to the artist’s life and work will be accentuated. The second part takes a close look at Miloš Marten’s critique of Hanuš Jelínek’s doctoral thesis Melancholics. Studies from the History of Sensibility in French Literature. To interpretate Marten’s reasons for such a negative criticism is our main pursued objective. Such criticism results not only from the rivality between Czech critics oriented to France, but also from different conceptions of the role of critical method and the role of the critic and the artist in the international cultural politics. The third part concludes with the critics’ „reconciliation‟ around 1913 by means of the common interest in the work and personality of Paul Claudel.

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A Personal Library Screened by the State Security

Abstract

In November 1951, books, manuscripts and other archivalia were confiscated during house searches in the flats of Karel Teige and Eva Ebertová. The confiscated set of books was considered to be lost until 1994, when it was handed over from the State Archives to the Library of the Museum of Czech Literature. The article presents a fragment of Teige’s library in terms of thematic areas and identified provenances (dedications, glosses and additions, stamps, signatures). Another part of the article analyses Teige’s paper ‘Ten Years of Surrealism’, which was presented at a discussion evening of the Left Front and published in the collection Surrealismus v diskusi [Surrealism in Discussion] (1934), and Teige’s corrections and additions found in a copy from the confiscated collection. In the text, Teige systematically removed morphological and syntactic archaisms as well as filler words. In addition, Teige made numerous formulation changes and additions in many places of the text, especially those dealing with the relation of psychoanalysis and surrealism. In these passages and also in a part of his article on the Kharkiv Resolution, Teige refers to A. Breton, he quotes from the First and Second Manifestos of Surrealism, and he maps the Breton / Aragon conflict within the French group. Because of the frequency of the changes in the text, the article covers only selected changes always representing a certain type. Therefore, it is not a textological article, but it turns the attention of Teigean researchers to a previously unknown version of one of Karel Teige’s key texts of from the 1930s.

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A Scholar and a Braggart. A Document Discovered at the Institut d’études slaves in Paris, Laryngiada by Hanuš Jelínek (1929)

Abstract

The core of the work of Hanuš Jelínek comprises, among other things, writings in French which are to promote the knowledge of Czech literature, its thematic and poetic characteristics and its history. In 1910–1930, Jelínek’s works were characterised by the pursuit of scholarship and fondness for erudition. Nevertheless, Jelínek is likewise one of Czech Bohemians (‘bohème bohême’) – the artists, writers, essayists, the rebellious and often cheerful generation of the 1890s, a part of which lived in Paris.

The serious man was thus also a braggart. The traces of this braggartism can be found in Jelínek’s memoirs Zahučaly lesy [Roaring Forests], his correspondence as well as in his poem Laryngiada, which he published in 1929 and which was illustrated by Adolf Hoffmeister. Institut d’études slaves in Paris owns a typescript of this joke in verse describing a pharynx surgery in a humorous way. In 1928, Jelínek dedicated it to the poet Richard Weiner. In his suggested translation of some key stanzas, the author of the article has tried to grasp the composition in the context of a scientific humorous song.

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Václav Hladík. The Direct (and Forgotten) Predecessor of Hanuš Jelínek

Abstract

The article studies the major stages in the life of the Czech journalist and writer Václav Hladík. This native of Prague died prematurely in 1913. In particular, the study tries to demonstrate his connections to another remarkable figure of cultural transfer – Hanuš Jelínek. In the first place, these included his work for the literary periodical Lumír, followed by his activities in the area of Czech-French relations. It was Hladík that introduced Jelínek to Parisian salons. The paper draws attention to personal continuity as well as a qualitative shift in Czech Francophilia at the turn of the 20th century.

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Vilém Gabler’s Library and Alexander the Great

Abstract

The article is divided into three parts. The first one aims to present the figure of Vilém Gabler, a close colleague of Karel Havlíček and František Ladislav Rieger, as a person important for the beginnings of Czech–French relations and for the spread of the knowledge of the Czech language and culture in the Czech milieu. The second part is devoted to the summary of previous research and the reconstruction of the personal library of Vilém Gabler, scattered in the central collection of the National Museum Library. The last, third part discusses Gabler’s article Alexander Veliký [Alexander the Great], written in reaction to the work Alexandre le Grand from the pen of Alphonse de Lamartine and under the impression of the events of 1859. Despite its thematic focus on the ancient commander, it provides abundant information on the author’s view of the recent Austrian-Czech past as well as present. It thus shows a man with his own world of opinion and moral schemes created based on his own experience from 1848 and strongly influenced by the study of French history, especially the period after 1789.

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